CES 2011: Samsung Promotes ‘Connectivity,’ Launches Macbook Air Rival

The company, whose press conference at CES was the only one so far punctuated by spontaneous applause from the audience, is hoping its ‘smarter life’ strategy will allow it to capitalise on a line-up of well-received products

Samsung section at CES 2011 in Las VegasPhoto: Samsung Zone/Flickr

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, 3,000 journalists queued to get in to Samsung’s press conference. More than 1,000 were turned away after the hall was full and staff at the Venetian Hotel, where the event was held, had threatened to ask people to leave because of fears about overcrowding.

When the event got underway, it was dominated not by a single product, but by a new plan for Samsung that will see it launch new televisions, computers, cameras and audio kit, along with a new range of products and accessories, from cables to wifi routers.

The company, whose press conference was the only one so far punctuated by spontaneous applause from the audience, is hoping its “smarter life” strategy will allow it to capitalise on a line-up of well-received products, including the 9000 Series TV and the Galaxy Tab, that it believes could make it a manufacturer whose products are associated with an Apple level of cool design.

The first new surprise from Samsung was the SP-A8000, a 3D projector that provides full 1080p HD in both 2D and 3D modes. It pumps out 1,000 lumens and offers a 10,000:1 contrast ratio. All those numbers are fine, but the important thing is how it looks, and it looked good. Like all of Samsung’s 3D products, it uses Active Shutter Glasses.

There wasn’t a lot exciting from Samsung as far as Blu-ray players were concerned. In fact, that goes for most tech companies as well. Blu-ray players were there, but they really weren’t highlighted and most didn’t offer much outside of the capabilities of 2010’s models.

Occupying a fairly nondescript space were two devices that Samsung is currently referring to as experimental. One a set-top box and the other a Blu-ray player – both equipped with Google TV.

It’s interesting to note that while Google TV devices were present, Samsung didn’t even talk about them at press conference. They did, however, talk about their own smart TV initiative. This could either be an indicator of the direction Samsung is planning on going or simply a change because of the reported Google TV delay.

Of course, no tour of the Samsung booth would be complete without a look at the company’s LED backlit 7000 and 8000 series. The look of the new TV sets is amazing.

Samsung has always been a company that’s about style as much as about content. Their new sets are absolutely gorgeous thanks to a 0.2 inch bezel. Both the new 7000 and 8000 sets will have this tiny bezel.

Samsung boasts that they’ll have even more 3D screens this year than they did last year. This includes larger screens above 55 inches. Also in the plans are smart sets. 2/3 of their new TVs will be smart TVs.

Samsung’s plasmas got larger – sort of. Samsung’s new tech allows them to increase the size of the screen without having to increase the size of the TV. They’re calling it “Plasma Plus One.”

Other new products were unveiled included televisions with a pencil-thin frame and the ability to search for programmes across a user’s own network and the web, a tablet computer that slides out to become a laptop, a wireless monitor that automatically connects to computers around it.

The company also announced a camera that can use an Android app as a remote control, a slim, high-performance Macbook Air-style laptop and new, designer 3D glasses and glasses that could incorporate user’s prescriptions lenses.

The company also talked about the Samsung Galaxy Player, which is essentially a smaller version of the Galaxy tab. It’s already out in Asian markets, but will be hitting the US in 2011. [via Telegraph (UK) and High Def Digest]

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